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For our next meeting on 12th June, Patricia Lewis, Lancashire Federation’s Choir mistress is joining us to help light our passion for singing. What song better to warm up our vocal chords than the theme song of the WI – Jerusalem.


Here is a snippet from Januarys Hotpot magazine telling us the history of the song Jerusalem:

When the WI was looking for a theme song around the year 1924, Grace Haddow, NFWI vice chairman suggested ‘Jerusalem’. Her main reason was the rousing music. No one could come up with anything better, so the song was formally accepted and has been sung at our meetings ever since.

The tune was composed at the end of the first world war, when with countless deaths and a very uncertain outlook for the country everyone was depressed. The poet laureate, Robert Bridges had found the verses written some 100 years previously by the poet William Bake and more or less forgotten in the years between.

Did the words ‘And did those feet in ancient time’ relate to Blake believing that the power of the rich and aristocratic should be reduced, to create better conditions for the workers in the ‘dark satanic mills’?

Bridges approached the composer, Hubert Parry, to ask him to write some stirring music to go with the words, Edward Elgar later arranged Parry’s music for orchestra. It was liked by everyone including King George V, who, we are told, preferred it to the National Anthem.

It is thought that the main meaning of the verse is that England should be great again with peace, prosperity and happiness for all.


Don’t worry if you are not able to sing in tune and are a little embarrassed, Patricia has reassured us it’s going to be a fun evening!

Just in case you don’t know the words, here they are!

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountain green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.

We will have copies of the words printed out for the meeting, so no need to memorise them!

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South Ribble Bake Off

On 7th July 2012 there will be a cake challenge at the Leyland Festival and all our members are invited to join in.

They are looking for enthusiastic bakers to go and dazzle the public with their creations. Celebrating 60 years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, they want you to develop a cake, biscuit or sweet pastry which is locally inspired and original.

The cakes will be judged on originality and local relevance, presentation, ingredients, taste and cost to make.

The winning cake will be celebrated as Leyland’s signature cake and will be produced and sold by Glover’s bakery.

If you are interested in entering (free to enter) or want any further information please contact us via the WISH email.

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May Household Tips and Hints: The Kitchen

Another round of handy tips from this month’s meeting – We asked for your tips for managing your kitchen and you gave us loads. Some clever ladies amongst us!



• Keep handcream by the sink and use it.
• If washing up with rubber gloves (recommended) put on hand cream – the heat from the water makes the hand cream soak in more effectively



• Put a sheet of kitchen roll in bottom of bin – helps catch any leaks and bits which miss the bag makes cleaning it easier.
• Sprinkle sodium bicarb over the base to eliminate smells



• Oven – oven doors come off – makes cleaning much easier
• Oven – once cleaned mix a paste of sodium bicarbonate and water. Wipe over and leave. Looks a little unsightly but makes cleaning it the next time a doddle
• Stainless steel appliances – marks can be removed with a little baby oil on soft cloth or kitchen roll wipe over. Comes up a treat
• Taps – Pour soda water over taps to make them sparkle
• Taps – use (old) toothbrushes for cleaning behind kitchen taps
• Windows: use water with little vinegar (cheaper the better not your 25 year old balsamic ?) and newspaper to wash down and dry newspaper to polish
• Windows: clean inside in one direction and outside in another – can see where the streaks are



• Put in 1/2 lemon during wash cycle – helps clean and keep it fresh
(courtesy of Kim & Aggie)

• To clean a microwave fill a bowl with hot water and put in 1/2 a lemon
heat on high and leave to stand… wipe out with kitchen paper: great for burnt on messes


• Dish Cloth – to keep it fresh keep it in cold water with few drops of added bleach
• Grill pan – always line a grill pan with foil. Makes it easier to clean
• Lemons & limes – slice and freeze. Great for adding to drinks and doesn’t dilute like ice
• Marmite jars – great pen pots
• Oxo cubes – crumble in the foil before using – makes it dissolve quicker
• Rubber gloves – fantastic for getting difficult to open jars open
• Washing up liquid – add water to last dregs of your bottle to get the most out of it
• WD40 – use it to get rid of sticky labels (great if you’re reusing jars)


• Bin – sprinkle sodium bicarb over the base to eliminate smells
• Fridge – fill ramekin or similar with sodium bicarbonate and leave in the fridge – absorbs whiffs & pongs
• Lunch-boxes: smelly lunch-boxes can be helped by putting rolled up balls of newspaper in over night to take away the smell
• Onion smells on hands – rub hands on something metal to take the smell away


Thanks for all your tips this month – Next Month: Baking Tips

Katie Willis - October 1, 2015 - 2:53 pm

Hi, there! These tips are amazing! I am keen on natural cleaning! As a mother of two children, it is just a part of my responsibilities: to take care of then and to keep them away from all harsh chemicals in products! Happy cleaning to all!

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Murder on the Nile – Lowry Theatre Trip

So, we have had our first theatre trip and what a lovely night it was. Last Saturday, a group of 11 of us trooped along to The Lowry, in anticipation of a good old murder mystery courtesy of Ms Agatha Christie – and we weren’t disappointed.

The play was set on a paddle steamer, carrying socialite honeymooners, Kay and Simon, along with some other travellers down the Nile. We had not only one but two murders – and I’m not going to tell you who got murdered because the not knowing was half the fun.

A packed small theatre which went incredibly dark for those few moments before curtain up, added extra spooky factor. A smattering of famous faces showed some brilliant acting – Kate O’Mara came into her own in the second half with hilarious comic expressions. The interval has us all asking where we had seen Jacqueline before (Steve McDonald’s exwife, Vicky, in case you were wondering). A few of us guessed who dunnit, showing what marvellous detective skills us WI women have.

We all agreed that our first official outing was a success – we even managed to squeeze in some tea and a couple of drinks beforehand. Huge congratulations to Karen for choosing the event and organising a wonderful night. We have plenty more trips in the pipeline and look forward to many more evenings in good company.

Cara - May 23, 2012 - 12:45 pm

Encore, encore! When’s the next one? Love it!

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Speaker’s Corner

Our Speaker Co-ordinator Sue, went along to the Lancashire Federation of Women’s Institutes offices in Leyland recently to see the latest batch of speakers audition. Did any of them have the X-Factor? Over to Sue…

Well, I’ve had many jobs in my time, (paper girl, leaflet distributor, home help, betting shop runner … all these before I left school) but I must say my role as speaker co-ordinator has, so far, come up trumps.

We have had our first three speakers and Shakespeare would be proud – tragedy, history and comedy – in the bag already! I sit there in trepidation every month! Will the group like them, will the speakers live up to expectations … will the speakers turn up!

So far, so good!

Sourcing them, phone calls, paperwork, confirmations, speaker requirements, fees, travel expenses, equipment – the list goes on – but I think I’m getting my head round it. I’ve booked someone for every slot in 2012 and the variety looks good – more by luck than judgement! I’ve even got a few already in the bag for 2013.

But … just as I was thinking, this is all organisation and no fun – I was invited to attend the Speaker Auditions at the Lancashire Office in Leyland. Me! A judge! I thought about my approach. Simon Cowell? Craig Revel Horwood? No, I was more like Bruno Tonioli!

Five speakers auditioned and they got better and better as the afternoon progressed. First, there was an archaeologist. Yes, I thought that too, but he was good – Slave Trade and Georgian Lancaster brought to life by a very knowledgeable man. Can an archaeologist really be called Billy? This one was passionate about his subject and as well as talks he also does walks – one to think about, perhaps?

Next up was Tai Chi – a careful explanation and demonstration by an accomplished master of the art. Our yin and yang was very finely balanced!

Taking us up to the break was a poet who read some of his work aloud. He was quite nervous but his words did the work for him. Bliss! Anyone who knows me knows I love poetry, literature and arts so this worked for me. Some of his poems reminded me of Seamus Heaney – not bad for a poet who only started writing in his forties. I had to stop myself asking question after question but I did manage to find out that he could also do workshops and perhaps help us to compose our own WISH poem – certainly more food for thought. I’ve since bought his book and the poems are just as good on the page as they were spoken.

A well earned break – but the WI does things with style and aplomb. No free for all or queuing up here! We were served with tea or coffee and biscuits where we sat. How very civilised!

A couple of us, well, me really, noticed a good looking young man hovering by the door. I said hello, trying to put him at ease and was treated to a lovely smile and a definite twinkle in his eye. He was our next victim! Our gardener. He talked – no notes, no slides, no prompts. Just good, old fashioned knowledge. He won over all the ladies in the room. Of course, I had a few questions again. Yes, he can tailor his talk; yes, he can demonstrate planting tubs; yes, he could bring plants for sale. No, I could not have his number.

Last speaker of the afternoon and almost time to go home. Surely, we have to end on a high note? What’s this? Impact of railways on 19th and 20th Century Culture? Could I sense a group yawn? If I did, it was politely stifled. I need not have worried. It was, in my humble opinion, the best audition of the afternoon. Full marks from me. The speaker included artists J M W Turner, Manet, Monet, Berthe Morisot (my favourite French, female Impressionist), poets Edward Thomas and John Betjeman and, as if that’s not enough, renowned combustion engine enthusiast, Roy Cropper to bring the age of steam and speed to life.

A great afternoon. Thanks for the memories WISH!

Sue Morris
Speaker Co-ordinator

Neil Smith - August 8, 2014 - 3:43 pm

I give talks to WI on my travels; playing for Liz Taylor in Rome, for the Red Army in Hungary and for Blair & Clinton and for the Queen Mum’s 100th. Best Neil

James Byrne - October 29, 2014 - 9:40 am

I would like to apply to take part in your speakers auditions.
I work as a poet, My work is both moving and funny. I also hold workshops in schools. I perform a stand up poetry evening lasting over One hour in theatres and poetry clubs around the UK.
I have been performing my own work for over Twenty years.

Yours Faithfully
James Byrne

Caroline Hesketh - January 4, 2015 - 8:04 am

Where can I find contact details for the speakers that you menting especially the Gardener and Railways. Are they in Lancashire WI handbook.? Our WI is based near Chorley in Lancashire

WIADMIN - February 8, 2015 - 9:53 pm

Hi Caroline, if you contact Lancashire Head Office in Leyland, they will be able to send you a list of approved WI speakers. Thanks, Helen

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